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Israeli Attacks on Fishermen in the Gaza Sea


12 November 2015

Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period[1] (01-31 October 2015). All attacks took  place within the distance of 6 nautical miles.
PCHR documented 6 shooting incidents and one shelling incident. It also documented incidents in which Israeli gunboats chased the Palestinian fishing boats while sailing in Gaza waters, due to which, they arrested two fishermen and confiscated their fishing boats in those incidents.

 The Israeli naval forces did not comply with the ceasefire agreement concluded between Israel and Palestinian armed groups under Egyptian auspices on 26 August 2014. This agreement includes allowing Palestinian fishermen to sail within 6 nautical miles in the Gaza Sea.  According to PCHR’s investigations, all attacks took place within the distance of 6 nautical miles, which proves that Israeli forces’ policies aim to tighten restrictions on the Gaza Strip’s fishermen and their livelihoods.

 Violations of the International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

 Israel’s attacks against Palestinian fishermen, who do not pose any threat to Israeli soldiers, in the Gaza Strip constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, relevant to the protection of the civilian population and respect for its rights, including every person’s right to work, and the right to life, liberty and security of person, as codified in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), despite the fact that Israel is a State Party to the Covenant.  Furthermore, these attacks occurred in a time where the fishers did not pose any threat to the Israeli naval troops, as they were doing their job to secure a living.  Israeli violations in the reporting period were as follows:

 First: Shooting Incident

During the reporting period, PCHR documented 6 shooting incidents and one shelling incident. The shooting incidents took place off the northern Gaza Strip shore, Khan Yunis shore and Gaza City shore within the allowed fishing area.

Second: Arrest of Fishermen:

  At approximately 05:00 on Monday, 05 October 2015, Israeli naval forces chased a Palestinian fishing boat manned by two Palestinian fishermen and sailing within 6 nautical miles off Gaza City shore. The Israeli gunboats surrounded the abovementioned boat and forced the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards one of the Israeli gunboats. They were then arrested.  The arrested fishermen were identified as Mohammed Kamal Hassan al-Nu’man (31) and Jihad Sid Ahmed Keskin (20).  At approximately 21:00 on the same day, Israeli forces released the arrested fishermen.

Third: Confiscation of Fishing Boats

 On 05 October 2015 in the aforementioned incident, Israeli gunboats chased a Palestinian fishing boat manned by two fishermen and sailing within 6 nautical miles off Gaza City shore. The Israeli gunboats surrounded the abovementioned fishing boat and forced the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water, and swim towards one of the Israeli gunboats. Due to which, the Israeli naval forces arrested them and confiscated their fishing boat.

Table of Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen in the Gaza Strip in October 2015

Month

Shooting

Shelling

Number of
Detainees

Confiscation
of Fishing tools

October 2015

6

1

2

1(fishing
boat)

Table
of Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen in the Gaza Strip since the
beginning of 2015

Month

Firing

Killed
Persons

Injuries

Arrest
Incidents

Number of
Detainees

Confiscation
of Fishing Boats and Fishing Equipment

Damaging
Fishing Equipment

January

12

4

2

8

1

2

4

February

15

March

12

2

2

6

3

1

April

15

1

2 (fishing
boat – net)

May

27

7

1

2

1

1

3

June

10

4

14

3

2

3

July

7

3

8

4

August

6

2

1

1

September

7

1

A fishing
boat

October

6

1

2

A fishing
boat

Total

117

22

42

14

5

15


[1]
This fact sheet issued by PCHR is the thirty-four of its kind.  It
addresses violations carried out by the Israeli forces against Palestinian
fishermen in the Gaza Strip while practicing their work.  For more
details, see Fact Sheets at:
www.pchrgaza.org.